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Category: business

INTERVIEW: Natalie Massanet on Business of Fashion

So in case you don’t know I have an undying love for Business of Fashion. Yes, I really and truly do, it’s an undying love for a website that provides me with in depth information on an industry that I long to be in and crave information about. The site gives me detailed, well written posts in a very business like sense. In addition to that, there is always some project or another going on, some series that they are involved in. Well we’re here today to speak about the Fashion Pioneers series, and more importantly, what Natalie Massanet, the creator of Net-A-Porter, had to say on her Fashion Pioneers spotlight.
See more screenshots and the rest of our coverage below the clip
I don’t want to address everything that was said. The interview was great, as Imran Amed has an amazing presence and sense of chic professionalism about him. It was very fluid and as always delved into the interveiwee’s head. One segment that Imran delved into that got me excited was Mr. Porter. Yes yes yes, I’m not sure if I’ve even covered it on the blog but I have been hearing and paying very close attention to the whispers along the halls of fashion about this new venture for Mrs. Massanet. So I was positively GLEEFUL when Imran broached the subject. Here are a few points I jotted down about the responses

  • Net-A-Porter was, is, and always will be a woman’s brand. There aren’t alot of places that are just for women so they wanted Net-A-Porter to be such a space and didn’t want it to change.
  • Mr. Porter is not to be just a “tab” of Net-A-Porter. Mr. Porter is to have it’s own voice, tone, packaging, and service. It will have a different brand and a different experience than Net-A Porter does because the audience is different
  • Women are trendy when it comes to fashion, mini-skirts this season, full skirts the next, while men are more classic. Men usually purchase investment pieces.
  • Things are still in development and there are no specific launch dates. The website is being designed and the team is still being put in place. The business will start out as a small one and then expand, in a sense walking before running instead of just attempting to riding on Net-A-Porter’s back.

In addition to this Imran asked Natalie about an issue that has been the topic of conversation for a few seasons, and since she has sealed the trophy of the most revolutionary fashion company in our time, having recently sold Net-A-Porter for over half a billion dollars, she may be the most in the position to answer the question seriously. When asked what to do about the wacky and demanding fashion schedule, Natalie Massanet’s mantra is simply, “Skip a season!” She encourages to simply skip a season and then have designers all show in season.. Her methodology is that buyers and editors don’t need to see the shows anymore. They can simply look at the clothing on a rack or a rail and gather what they need from that. The fashion show has now moved into a production for the consumer and to show the consumer a cookie and not hand it over for an entire year… well it’s just cruel. I’d have to say… it’s a simple, yet effective plan of action.

The other thing that was a big part of the interview in my opinion was the release of the Net-A-Porter IPad app. The app really and truly shows the future in my opinion. Weekly, a new issue of the Net-A-Porter magazine will come out on the application, that’s 52 issues a year. Each issue is VERY interactive. Users will find bags that scatter themselves across the screen, and shots from runway shows that feature the models walking. Furthermore the user can click on various pictures to see and do various things, possibly the most beneficial of which is to purchase pieces. While browsing the magazine, users can click a piece in an editorial, and purchase it. This is all done while still browsing the magazine.

If one has to ask where to look for the future of fashion… I say simply to look to Net-A-Porter.
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Business Week: Loosely Packed

Take Palmetto Boys’ State, mix in a heavy dose of Wachovia Business Scholars, and then add in some of the leaders in the Business World in South Carolina, and you end up with Business Week at Presbyterian College. One week that causes leaders to arise quickly. Within 24 hours, the companies that have been arranged by the staff, randomly before the camp begins find themselves with a CEO, one round of decisions made about their business, and one skit completed.
The camp works with a speed, efficiency, and smoothness that allows for a lot to get done while not feeling packed. During the week there are speakers that discuss subjects from diversity, personal finance, to personality types, and one week long business simulation. The simulation is a competition that simulates the real business world, requiring participants to determine price, production, advertising, and the purchasing of raw goods for a company that produces 2 goods that require different types of raw materials. Dilemmas are also introduced that require the companies to answer ethical questions as well as professional.
Each company is afforded with CA’s and the chance to interact with industry leaders, and are also allowed to tour a plant. This year, we toured Fujifilm. Teamwork is of the utmost importance during the week because of the ongoing spirit competition. Also because of the time invested in various meetings, participants find themselves linked with their companies if not with everyone else who attended camp.
Because grade level is from rising 10th graders to rising college freshmen it is very interesting to watch how these leaders interact. The applications are vetted heavily and those who attend represent the best that South Carolina has to offer. The Board of CEOs meets for lunch once along with an Advisor and basically have a discussion on leadership. As my company’s CEO I was privy to this and I found it very interesting. All in all, the camp pulled out qualities in me that I wasn’t quite sure I possessed.

BOTTOM LINE: BUSINESS WEEK WAS AN EXPERIENCE THAT BOUND ME TO MY COMPANY AND PULLED OUT QUALITIES THAT I WASN’T REALLY SURE I HAD IN MYSELF IN REGARDS TO LEADERSHIP.